Quick Fact About Rapidly Rising CO2 Levels and Related Info

Not only are global atmospheric CO2 levels high, they are rising at a significantly increasing rate. For example, in the last 17 years, atmospheric CO2 levels have risen about as much as they did over the 200 years after the start of the industrial revolution. To illustrate this fact, we have added some key dates to the very informative graph shown below that was published by the Financial Times (FT) on May 13, 2022 about the rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels. The added dates include the approximate start of the industrial revolution (1760) and 2004, which is 17 years before 2021.

In this same FT article Pieter Tans, who is a senior scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said that “Not only were carbon dioxide levels high, they were also rising faster and faster” and “So we are going in the wrong direction, at maximum speed.”

To calculate the amount of CO2 rise after the start of the industrial revolution, we used data from the CO2Levels.org website for the atmospheric CO2 concentrations (ppm) in 1760.  As well, we used data from the NOAA website for the data at the Mauna Loa CO2 annual mean data for atmospheric CO2 concentrations between 1960 and 2021 at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii.  Our calculations are as follows:

Difference between CO2 Levels from 1960 to 1760 = 316.91 ppm – 277.6 ppm = a difference of 39.31 ppm CO2 in 200 years
Difference between CO2 Levels from 2021 to 2004 = 416.45 ppm – 377.70 ppm = a difference of 38.75 ppm CO2 in 17 years

Given below is some additional information about our current trends in rising carbon emissions:

1) The head of the IEA is coming out very strongly against the new planned fossil fuel developments.  See below:

Climate chaos certain if oil and gas mega-projects go ahead, warns IEA chief by Fiona Harvey, Matthew Taylor and Damian Carrington, 12 May 2022

Fatih Birol says ‘carbon bombs’, revealed in Guardian investigation, will not solve global energy crisis
The International Energy Agency’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said: ‘We have the chance to make this a historic turning point to a cleaner and more secure energy system.’ Composite: Guardian Design/Reuters/EPA/Getty/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock
The world’s leading energy economist has warned against investing in large new oil and gas developments, which would have little impact on the current energy crisis and soaring fuel prices but spell devastation to the planet.
Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), was responding to an investigation in the Guardian that revealed fossil fuel companies were planning huge “carbon bomb” projects that would drive climate catastrophe.

2) Some more background on these massive planned fossil fuel developments:

Revealed: the ‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown by Damian Carrington and Matthew Taylor, Wed 11 May 2022
Exclusive: Oil and gas majors are planning scores of vast projects that threaten to shatter the 1.5C climate goal. If governments do not act, these firms will continue to cash in as the world burns.
The dozen biggest oil companies are on track to spend $103m a day for the rest of the decade exploiting new fields of oil and gas that cannot be burned if global heating is to be limited to well under 2C.

3) It appears that a “Don’t Look Up” type of denial is going on a trillion dollar scale as shown below:

Institutional Investors Just Can’t Quit Coal By Haley Zaremba – Apr 20, 2022, 1:00 PM CDT

• The rush to phase out coal has been hindered by soaring energy demand.
• The dirty fossil fuel has received as much as $1.5 trillion from commercial banks over the past 3 years.
• BlackRock alone has $35 billion invested in the construction of new coal plants.

4) Investment in oil continues to rise substantially:

a) Oil Sands Financing From Canadian Banks Doubles By Charles Kennedy – Apr 11, 2022

• Oil sands saw a 51-percent jump in financing between 2020 and 2021.
• Bank financing for 30 top oil sands production companies and six key oil sands pipeline companies increased their lending in 2021 by nearly $9 billion.
• The 60 largest banks in the world poured as much as $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021 alone

b) Article: Surging fossil fuel production and demand

c) Article: Spending on oil and gas operations in Canada is expected to grow this year to $26 billion.

d) Guardian: Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds – Trillions of dollars a year are ‘adding fuel to the fire’ of the climate crisis, experts say, 6 Oct 2021

5) Even though this is happening…

a) Guardian: Climate scientists are desperate: we’re crying, begging and getting arrested, Wed 6 Apr 2022
On Wednesday, I risked arrest by locking myself onto an entrance to the JP Morgan Chase building in downtown LA. I can’t stand by – and nor should you

b) The world is ‘perilously close’ to irreversible climate change. 5 tipping points keep scientists up at night by Elizabeth Weise, APRIL 7, 2022

c) Satellite data shows entire Conger ice shelf has collapsed in Antarctica, Fri 25 Mar 2022
Nasa scientist says complete collapse of ice shelf as big as Rome during unusually high temperatures is ‘sign of what might be coming’
An ice shelf about the size of Rome has completely collapsed in East Antarctica within days of record high temperatures, according to satellite data.

d) Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists, Sun 20 Mar 2022
Antarctic areas reach 40C above normal at same time as north pole regions hit 30C above usual levels

e) UN chief calls for action to put out ‘5-alarm global fire’ – “We must go into emergency mode against the climate crisis. We need an avalanche of action,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres, laying out his priorities for 2022.”

f) UN Sec. Gen. Guterres says the world is ‘sleepwalking to climate catastrophe’.

g) Climate Action Tracker: Canada – Canada: Overall Rating: Highly insufficient

h) CBC: Canada’s climate change efforts going from ‘failure to failure,’ says commissioner’s report – ‘We need action and results, not just more targets and plans’ — Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco, November 25, 2021

i) Rolling Stone: The Fuse Has Been Blown,’ and the Doomsday Glacier Is Coming for Us All By JEFF GOODELL
New data suggests a massive collapse of the ice shelf in as little as five years. “We are dealing with an event that no human has ever witnessed,” says one scientist. “We have no analog for this”

6) Some more info about Don’t look up….

a) A short video comparing a Just Stop Oil organizer being interviewed on Good Morning Britain to a scene in the movie, “Don’t Look Up”: https://twitter.com/i/status/1514335931284738052

b) Guardian: I’m a climate scientist. Don’t Look Up captures the madness I see every day by Peter Kalmus, Wed 29 Dec 2021
A film about a comet hurtling towards Earth and no one is doing anything about it? Sounds exactly like the climate crisis

c) Video: DON’T LOOK UP | Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence | Official Trailer | Netflix

d) Link to video on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/watch/81252357

Quick Link to this page: climatesan.org/qfci